Serena Williams Has Been Fined $17,000 For Three Code Violations During The U.S. Open Final
NEW YORK (AP/CBS) — Saturday’s (Sept. 8) US Open women’s final went to Naomi Osaka, who became the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam event. However, the result was overshadowed by a controversial dispute between Serena Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos during the second set at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
On Sunday (Sept. 9), Williams was fined $17,000 for her role in the incident.During that second set, Williams was given a warning from Ramos after the umpire determined her coach was attempting to instruct her using hand signals, which results in code violation. Williams was upset by the accusation, denying that she received any coaching and claiming that her coach was simply giving her a thumbs up. She demanded an apology from Ramos.
“You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life! I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her,” Williams told Ramos on the court. “I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose.”
Williams remained upset and later smashed her racket on the court, which resulted in another violation — this time resulting in a point penalty. This made the 36-year-old Williams even more upset, leading to her further chastising Ramos — including calling him a “thief.” Eventually, a full game penalty was leveled against Williams.
It was a costly violation for Williams, who dropped the second set — and the match — shortly thereafter. Even as she tried to remain gracious in defeat, it was clear that Williams was still bothered by the incident.
It was clear that Williams was extremely bothered by the game penalty. She accused Ramos of sexism, saying she wouldn’t have been penalized for verbal abuse if she were a man. She doubled down on that in her post-match remarks.
“I can’t sit here and say I wouldn’t say he’s a thief because I feel like he took the game from me,” Williams said at the podium. “I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things and I’m here fighting for women’s rights and women’s equality. And for him to take a game? It made me feel like it was a sexist remark. I mean, like he’s never taken a game from a man because he’s said thief. It blows my mind. But I’m gonna continue to fight for women.”
After the match, Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted that he was trying to coach Williams during the final.
“I’m honest, I was coaching,” Mouratoglou ceded. “I don’t think she looked at me so that’s why she didn’t even think I was.”
“But I was, like 100 percent of the coaches in 100 percent of the matches so we have to stop this hypocritical thing. Sascha (Bajin, Osaka’s coach) was coaching every point, too.”
Mouratoglou also said that Ramos should have handled his interaction with Williams differently, finding a way to de-escalate the situation rather than creating additional drama, because you “don’t screw a Grand Slam final.”
Mouratoglou said that, if he was Ramos, he would have told Serena, “‘I’ve seen your coach do a movement and tell him to stop, otherwise you’ll have a warning.’ And I don’t understand why he didn’t do that, where all the other chair umpires do this all year long, including him.”